The first book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon debut fantasy series about one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world.
"One of my favorite books of all time" - Mark Lawrence
The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.
Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.
Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.
This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.
The Books of BabelSenlin AscendsArm of the Sphinx
Bancroft's brilliant debut fantasy, first in a planned series, stars the eponymous Thomas Senlin, a provincial schoolmaster. Thomas and his wife, Marya, honeymoon at the Tower of Babel, a notable tourist attraction. No one knows how high the tower is, as its upper stories are hidden behind a permanent fog, and many other things about it are also mysterious and dangerous. Upon losing Marya in the massive crowd around the tower's base, Thomas begins to climb in the hope of meeting her again. Every one of the tower's staggeringly original individual rooms, many of which have their own cultures, could make a setting for a novel all by itself, and the suspenseful plot and cleverly handled side characters add to the surfeit of riches. The relationship between Thomas and Marya is touching, well-established, and, most importantly, egalitarian. At once steampunk and epic, surreal and yet grounded in believable logistics, this novel goes off like a firework and suggests even greater things in the author's future.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well-written story of how an awkward, sedentary nobody gains, little by little, his stride to his own surprise. Plot is developed well, with just a few details begging for more attention. I want to read the next!